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“French Colonial elegance”

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Gratitude, a Heritage Home
Ranked #3 of 150 Pondicherry B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
London, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
20 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“French Colonial elegance”
Reviewed March 7, 2013

A beautifully preserved colonial house with staff that make you feel at home and do everything to make your stay as easy and hassle free as possible. The rooms are quite small, but filled with lovely furniture. The only problem we encountered was that we were 4 girlfriends travelling together and sharing 2 rooms, however despite knowing this, the hotel allocated 2 double bedded rooms to us. This also happened to another guest staying at the hotel. Breakfast was delicious and it was nice chatting to other guests and getting ideas as to where to visit and eat at night. Our favorite was Villa Shanti which is nearby. We all loved the gift shop too!

Room Tip: Make sure that you get the type of room you want i.e twin or double bedded, as I suspect this is oft...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank R0z_L_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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213 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    4
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30
72
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6
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (73)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
40 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed February 19, 2013

The Gratitude guest house is situated in the French quarter of Pondicherry. Having placed our shoes in the collection of assorted footwear at the door, we were ushered into a large Gratitude reception room by a delightful, friendly Indian lady in a beautiful coral and cream sari, whom we were later to know as Anto. I of course hadn't read the code of conduct for this establishment which also included muted cellphones, communal breakfasts after the 8:30 am gong and obligatory unpacking so that staff could stow your luggage for the duration. The very charming Anto offered green tea while we completed the registration documentation under the slightly disarming gaze of a life size black and white portrait photo of The Mother - Mirra Affasa, disciple of Sri Aurobindo and co-founder of the Aurobindo Ashram. We were greeted by the owner Kakoli and various other staff and escorted through a stunning inner courtyard to room 6 on the upper level. High teak doors with inset glass panels opened from the dining room to one side of the cool flagstone courtyard, shaded by tall well established trees and smaller potted species with clusters of coral flowers. At one end was a large black statue of Ganesh, Hindu god of obstructions (mostly he removes obstructions to life's difficult path but may also place them in the way to check unwitting or conscious deviations from godliness - I was soon after to become a devotee). The upper level white pillared balcony that lead to our room had antique wooden colonial benches from where one could contemplate the cool beauty of this oasis to constant muted repeating mantras, presumably of the ashram converts, and the gentle tinkle of the anklets of the bare-footed Anto as she padded back and forth going about her work.

The room itself was astonishing. The white-washed walls rose some five meters to a flat whitewashed ceiling supported by huge timber beams running the width of the room, themselves supported by what looked like the trunk of some hardwood tree at right angles to the beams. Predictably a fan was suspended from the centre beam. There was an antique colonial four poster with an intricate fretwork headboard inset with a mirror and a similarly intricate foot end, inset with two ornate green patterned tiles. Full length widows to the balcony had rattan and fine mesh shutters for daytime use, with additional inner shutters that were closed at night to contain the cool of the air conditioning. To the left, the cool red concrete floor rose in a set of semi circular steps to double wooden doors that lead to an adjoining bathroom in the mustard shades of the exterior. So elegantly appointed with a colonial desk and mirror, wooden towel stand, various bathing unctions, a large bath and shower, we were left somewhat overcome. The rooms were infused with a subtle fragrance of lemon from oil burners. This really was colonial India opulence revisited.

The Gratitude encourages guests to breakfast together and while somewhat fearing enforced gaiety, it turned out to be a really nice thing to do - we met some very interesting people. The food was delicious with masala dosa, idlee and fresh curd alongside fruits bread and croissant. The one distraction that was out of character with this calm and tranquil place was a somewhat overbearing and superior temporary (as I understood) European manager whose manner to the staff in front of guests was frankly inexcusable.

Room Tip: Room 6 is absolutely fantastic - book ahead to secure
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Timww
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
gratitudeheritage, Owner at Gratitude, a Heritage Home, responded to this review, March 4, 2013
Wow! Thank you for such a well written detailed review...specially for Room 6. You have definitely made it popular. The fact that guests like you make an effort to write so beautifully makes GRATITUDE so very special. Thank you for your observations and feedback. Hope to see you back some day...
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
115 reviews
55 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
Reviewed February 18, 2013

Wonderful welcome at this small boutique hotel, beautifully restored. Virginia was warm, welcoming and provided very useful information. The central courtyard is beautiful with a verandah around the first floor and second floor rooms. The wifi worked well, even when I got up in the very early am due to jet lag and sat in the open-air lounge. As I discovered on the rest of my trip, this is not always the case even in higher-end hotels. We had reserved Room 3 but looking at the photos now I think we were given room 5, on the upper floor, and my only negative was that we were 2 women and the two single beds were very very narrow so that it worked for us for one night but it would not work for any oversized people. So antique it is -- but be prepared for small beds as well. The breakfast was excellent - buffet of croissant, fruit, toast and iddlis but started on the late side for us so that we had to eat fast and rush off and did not have the opportunity to talk to the other guests. Shoes off at the door like in most traditional Indian households. Pondicherry is expensive if you want to stay in the old part of town and Gratitude was an excellent choice for our needs.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Charles M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gurugram (Gurgaon), India
Level Contributor
88 reviews
45 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed February 5, 2013

Very few words can really define the bliss and serenity that Gratitude is made up of. Each inch of the propoerty has heart and soul in it of the owner and designer. You cannot but help being quiet here, be with your self and admire beautiful things of life.
I had a four poster bed and the room had a small flight of steps up to a yellow bathrum. Water was kept in earther urns. Lace and cottton in my room linen. No personal footwear in the rooms is a great idea, your feet are free to touch ground when you want, They provide footwear for rooms. The terrace is such a delight. Lounge chairs, area for yoga, massage area.
Breakfast is great and the best time to interact with others at home.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank S-CHANDRA-GURGAON
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
paris france
Level Contributor
21 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 167 helpful votes
Reviewed January 24, 2013

I cannot speak hightly enough of the Gratitude. We tried bpoking a room in Pondicherry with very short notice, just before New Year and this was my first chpice, unfortunately, it was full.
Kakoli and Virginia tried their hardest to magic up a solution and when our reserved hotel room proved to be absolutely disgusting, they offered us the massage room on the roof, which they converted into an ensuite bedroom -which was amazing, until they could find us a room.
The house has been beautifully and lovingly restored with the help of INTACH and it is the most beautiful and peaceful of retreats,
The wonderful house and garden resembles a Morrocan riyadh surrounding a peaceful garden and a massive mango tree.
There is no restaurant but you are in the middle of the French Quarter within 5 minutes walk of fantastic restaurants, but there is a communal breakfast table, which means that all the guests meet and discuss and chat every morning, swapping tips and stories -it was a wonderful bonus.
Do not be put of by the "house rules" -they are just guidelines to make sure that everyone has the optimum experience, if you are looking for an impersonal business hotel, with room service and hot and cold running staff -this is not for you, but this is made very clear before you even book a room. Children are very gently discouraged but Kakoli has opened the Mantra guest house -for people who want a much more lively atmosphere and want to bring their kids -which seems fair to me!
I cannot express what a haven of peace and tranquility this place is -you come away feeling like family. It feels such a labour of love.
Celebrating New Year's Eve on the roof of the guesthouse, surrounded by incredibly genuine and interesting people is a memory that will stay with me.
I would definitely recommend it and will be back and in the meantime will be in touch with the lovely Virginia and Kakoli. Truly a place to be grateful for.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank hitchcockblonde
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed January 12, 2013 via mobile

Gratitude was without a doubt the highlight of our stay in Pondicherry. Everything was so easy and relaxed that it was possible to immerse outselves in the chaos knowing that we whould be truly grateful to come home. The staff are fountains of knowledge and chat over breakfast making you feel like this is your home while you stay. Thank you! Highly recommend

Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank Danielle O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chennai (Madras), Tamil Nadu, India
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed January 11, 2013

I spent three rejuvenating days at Gratitude. The beautifully restored rooms are impeccably clean, the staff is genuinely friendly, and the location is just perfect. It's in the French quarter, close to the beach but far enough from the madding crowd. I also (briefly) enjoyed the company of Kakoli and her warm group of friends when I went up to the terrace one breezy evening to have a drink; this only added to the eclectic experience that is so 'Pondicherry'.

My only regret was not spending enough time at Gratitude; I was in Pondy for a diving holiday (yes, Pondy has an amazing diving school called Temple Adventures) that saw me wake up & head out at unearthly hours. I've made a promise to myself to return to Gratitude with my wife and just soak in the serenity and catch up on some reading or simply...do nothing. Gratitude is the perfect place for that kind of holiday.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled solo
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
1 Thank luxative
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Gratitude, a Heritage Home

Property: Gratitude, a Heritage Home
Address: 52 Rue Romain Rolland Street, Pondicherry 605001, India
Location: India > Union Territory of Pondicherry > Pondicherry
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 150 B&Bs / Inns in Pondicherry
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
‘Gratitude’ is a home and a place of retreat in Pondicherry, India. It has been restored lovingly over a period of three years maintaining the authenticity of the architectural style and method of construction that was prevalent when this house was built. What gives ‘Gratitude’ its true essence is the quiet joy and peace that gives this home a healing atmosphere which is rare to find in the world outside without compromising on comfort. ... more   less 

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